A Birthday Mystery and Milestone: Library Building Turns 30 Estes Valley Library > Posts > A Birthday Mystery and Milestone: Library Building Turns 30   |  print this page  

by Kurtis Kelly, Communications Specialist

Can you believe it? Our hometown Library Building turns 30 years old this month! Whether you were here in 1991, or planning to visit for the very first time, stop in to celebrate on Wednesday and Thursday, June 23 and 24.

We’ll have birthday hats galore. You can sign a giant greeting card. And share any special remembrances.

You might also be able to help us solve a bit of a puzzle. Read on …

Our Library Building has been an Estes treasure since it opened all those years ago. Visitors regularly express their appreciation for the downtown library experience, and “Parkitecture” design. We fondly remember architect Roger Thorp, who designed a building that adapted to many changes over time, including a second-level expansion in 2002. Roger passed away in 2019, yet his original vision is going strong.

Another part of the experience: all the original artwork that gives meaning and context to the library spaces. Step into the lobby and you’re greeted by a large whimsical mural, inspired by children’s books, created in 1991 by local artist Gary Keimig (1941-2018).

On the second floor: original Lyman Byxbe pieces, and a statuette of “La Poesia” given to the Library by Eleanor James Hondius in the 1930s. We thank local artist Greig Steiner, who recently helped us document and appraise the Library’s myriad artwork.

More original artwork came later in the building’s 30-year journey. Michael Young painted the children’s room storybook-themed mural in 2009. He also gave our stairwell its colorful book titles which have charmed visitors since 2012.

Among the library art, we also cherish the stained-glass panels above the entryway. Look upward on your next visit and marvel at the design, inspired by our valley’s mountain views.

The stained glass installation was commissioned for the Library’s 1991 opening. Yet in the passage of time, we are without details about the artist.

If you might remember the designer of the stained glass pieces, give us a call. Pinning down these details would be the icing on a “Happy 30” birthday cake.

Cheers to a library facility that has adapted admirably with the times. Thank you to our residents and donors, who have made it possible for library services to grow and transform over three amazing decades. 

Stop in next Wednesday or Thursday to share, celebrate, and reminisce. And to dream of where library services will be in 2051. After all, it’s only a mere 30 years away.